Impact Newsletter May 2022
Happy May!

Important things to remember as you are closing out the year:
  • Operation Snowball modified logos as of January 2021, please make sure ALL Teams have made this adjustment.
  • This includes marketing, t-shirts for events, social media, staff applications, etc. The old logos are no longer the current trademarked items.
  • Each Team will be receiving a renewal form this week via email to complete. Accreditations will run through the school year instead of the calendar year.
  • Remember to tag us in your social media posts, we want to know what you all are up to and celebrate your work!
  • Think about how your Team can utilize Operation Snowball, Inc. staff and our other youth prevention program staff to support your events in the coming year.

As a reminder, we will resume Impact Newsletters as of August 2022.

Have a fantastic summer,
Riley & Ashley
2022 OS, Inc. Awards Banquet
OS, Inc. recognizes Individual Members and Teams each spring on their excellence in leadership, and Snowball programming. This year we were excited to host an in-person Awards Banquet to recognize the awardees and come together to celebrate them.

With pride and joy in our hearts, we are delighted to share this years award winners!
Award Winners
New OS Team Award
West Aurora High School
Beyond the Call of Duty Award
Emma Haydon
Warm Fuzzy Award
Youth Empowering Students
Creative & Innovative Award
Downers Grove High School
A Voice for Positive Change
Brent Swolsky
Outstanding OS Team Award
Lyons Township High School
OS Youth Excellence Award
Ari Mendoza
OS Adult Excellence Award
Todd Keeler
High Five Award
Valley View School District
Special thanks to the Board of Directors for all their help in coordinating the event!
2022 Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute
Final Call for Scholarships & Registrations!
If your Team, or students from your Team are interested in attending CGTI this summer but are in need of financial assistance please contact us ASAP - scholarships are going fast!

CGTI 2022 is slated for July 17 - 21 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. We can't wait to return to having a full capacity conference for the first time in three years.
What is the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute (CGTI)?
The Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute (CGTI) is a youth leadership program that gives students the knowledge, confidence and skills to live a drug and alcohol-free life. Our Mid-Year conference offers our youth opportunities to hear from and work with renowned speakers, connect with peers from across the state, expand prevention education and more. Our conference serves as a foundation for skill development, youth and adult networking and, of course, fun!

Who Can Attend?
CGTI is open to all 7th - 12th grade students for the 2022-2023 school year, coming with a team or individually. This event is for students who are or want to be leaders in their schools and communities! We also encourage an adult from the school/community to attend to support the student's action plan.
Registration Fees & Deadlines
April 16 - May 31

June 1 - June 30
For every team of 7 students, one adult mentor can register at no cost.

OS, Inc. Training Highlight
QPR: Ask A Question, Save A Life
Student leaders from the Streator High School OS Team attended a training that now identifies them as Gatekeeper Certified. During this training, students learned about suicide prevention - how to Question, Persuade, and Refer those who have thought about suicide or are showing warning signs and get them connected with proper resources within their school and community.
Three-Layered Approach to Successful
Team Action Planning
When we’re thinking about changing lives, educating others, updating policy and more, it goes beyond those five simple steps in the strategic prevention framework. This training took a deep dive into prevention messages through the decades and how to create messaging campaigns in 2022 that create positive change.
Snowball Team Highlights
District 228 Snowball
District 228 Operation Snowball Team held their 2022 retreat last month at Camp Manitoqua, and what an incredible turn out they had. Students were excited to be spending the event getting to know their peers and growing in their leadership.
Naperville Snowball
The Naperville OS Team held their spring Snowball event and it was a huge success. It was filled with workshops, a teen led large group discussing how to find your symbol of courage, candlelight reflections, and so much more. What an impactful event.
Valley View School District (VVSD) Snowball
VVSD Team held their first ever Snowball event this month, to say we are beyond proud of their leadership is an understatement. From their extensive planning meetings, questions about logistics, and love that each student and adult poured into the event we are sure this Team is going to go so far.
West Leyden OS Fentanyl Article
The following message was brought to you by West Leyden Operation Snowball Team, a student-led group that believes that with awareness and accurate information individuals can make safe choices about drugs and alcohol.

More teens in the United Stated are overdosing on fentanyl than ever before, resulting in an increase of teen deaths. The use of fentanyl, a powerful prescription synthetic, has spiked in Cook County as a result of the pandemic. The pandemic has resulted in feelings of hopelessness in some, that paired with the disruption of drug trade, have caused teens to turn to fentanyl, a substance 10 times more powerful than heroin.

It is common for dealers to add fentanyl to other illicit substances and this results in our local teens being unexpectedly exposed to fentanyl through their use of other drugs. Such practice can lead to unintentional fentanyl use and overdose.

To learn more about fentanyl's contribution please visit the following resources:
Amplifying Youth Voices

Youth Advocates on the OS Board of Directors write articles, create resources, and engage our snowball community online as part of their role.
Warm Fuzzy Challenge
For the month of May our Youth Advocates want to challenge you to share warm fuzzies.

This can be done in a variety of different ways:
  • Give out five compliments
  • Write a letter of appreciation to mentors or classmates
  • High-five people
  • Make dinner for your family
  • Send a message to someone you want to catch up with
  • Let someone go in front you in a line
  • Share your favorite book or song with a friend
  • Write a friend’s best qualities and give it to them
  • Text someone good morning and goodnight
T-Shirt Design Contest
This is a call to all the creative Snowball youth leaders out there - a chance to win $20 Amazon gift card.

The Operation Snowball Board of Directors are interested in starting a campaign to bring awareness to Operation Snowball’s influence within the journey of our lives, and to showcase how far Operation Snowball’s influence has gone and is capable of going.
  • Step 1: Create a t-shirt design for the "How Far A Snowball Can Go" campaign.
  • Step 2: Pick a shirt color and print color.
  • Step 3: Submit design to [email protected] with the email subject line Design Contest by June 1.
Looking Ahead
Proclamation: Mental Health Awareness Month
We are so excited to share this news as we are halfway through Mental Health Awareness Month!

The Illinois Association for Behavioral health has been working with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing on this Proclamation to offically declare May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Illinois, with a focus on mental health education and training, including teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA).

We hope you'll celebrate this exciting news with us!
May Prevention Activities
The Mental Health Awareness Toolkit serves as a manual to guide Action Teams and Individuals through the steps of bringing mental health awareness to your local schools, organizations and communities.

This toolkit will walk you through what activities and events you can host, the proper language to use when discussing mental health, what resources are available to youth and adults in your community and more.
Marijuana Summit:
Education, Prevention, Advocacy
Join Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. in Rosemont, Illinois, June 28-29, 2022 for two days of marijuana education, prevention, and advocacy training. National and local experts will discuss the impacts of marijuana use, research, current policies, emerging trends, and prevention and advocacy strategies that strengthen communities.

To register or learn more about the event, click the link below.

*Continental breakfast, lunch & session certificates are included in the $25 fee*
Bring tMHFA to Your Snowball Team
For inquiries and scheduling requests please contact Riley Cleary.
We Want to Hear From You!
Operation Snowball, Inc. wants to continue to highlight OS Teams each month in our newsletter. Please continue to share with us the amazing work that you are doing in your schools and communities.

This may mean sharing photos of your events or weekly meetings, graphics and videos your group has created for your prevention programming, maybe it is a write-up from one of your students reflecting on a project you all completed. In other words, we want to celebrate YOU!

Be proud of all you have accomplished!
MISSION STATEMENT: Operation Snowball is an international youth program that empowers student leaders through prevention education, community advocacy, and leadership development to a create positive impact.

937 South Second Street | Springfield, IL 62704
217.528.7335 ext. 27